One evening a snail boy was exploring a conch shell at the beach when he smelled marshmallows and heard people singing "kumbaya".
He saw a beautiful seaside cottage made of rocks, driftwood, dry reeds, shells, and dried out crab claws.
He slowly moved up the scallop shell-lined path to investigate.
He pulled his head in a bit when he saw an acorn boy. He was a little bit shy.
"Hello," he said. "I thought I smelled marshmallows...." He tried to peer around the acorn boy.
"Did someone say marshmallows?" asked another snail loudly, craning her neck over a boulder and peering down at the group, stretching her horns as far as they would go. One of the acorn boys buried a bit of chocolate under the sand using his foot.
"Marshmallows?" asked the acorn boy.
The acorn boy looked at his acorn brothers and sister grouped around the bonfire. One of them was pushing something behind a rock. There were no roasting sticks or marshmallows to be seen, but his sister had some white stuff on her mouth, and his brothers were brushing away some crumbs.
"Marshmallows?" repeated the acorn boy faintly. The snail was stretching his neck close to the bonfire and sniffing.
"Yes, we have marshmallows...." his voice trailed off as his older brother gave him a warning look.
"And chocolate and graham crackers," said the little acorn sister, jumping up and down. "We're having s'mores! School starts tomorrow! It's our last bonfire of the summer!"
"Hmmmm...." said the snail bashfully. The acorn boys were all blushing a little bit.
"Won't you have some?" asked the eldest.
"Yes, please!"" said the snail bashfully.
"Me, too!" yelled the snail girl.
The children shared s'mores with the snails.
Afterwards, the snail children took turns pulling the acorn children in a chariot made of a slipper shell.
Then, as the sun sank on the last day of summer, the children hopped and oozed all over the sandy beach, leaving small round footprints and shining trails.
Copyright 2009 Elizabeth F. Curtin